Wolverhampton-based CS Labels, manufactures digital self-adhesive labels ranging from the standard functional, to high-end embellished labels and everything in between, as well as bespoke printed flexible pouches.
Operating for almost 50 years, the business now has over sixty employees and a production site filled with the latest digital print, finishing and bespoke conversion technology. CS is ready for every challenge a customer can give them.
“Our labels aren’t just labels!” says Simon Smith, Managing Director at CS Labels. “They can be the best communication tool for a product or brand. We champion the best in digital capabilities and provide solutions for all requirements. Constant expansion, Investment in innovation, and progression of our skill sets, technologies and products means we’re constantly improving our services to ensure all customers are enjoying up to date expertise and a great service.”
Together with Four Pees, CS has been able to fully automate their studio processes delivering improved control, visibility and speed of service both Internally and for their customers.
“The real challenge for CS Labels has always been to keep up with increasing demand,“ Andy Banks, Sales UK & Ireland at Four Pees reveals. “this is of course a luxury position for any printer to be in, but it doesn’t make the problem smaller. The CS business model leads them to receive high volumes of jobs, which need to be reviewed, often optimized or consulted upon to educate on incompatible customer specifications. Once the artwork is finalized, it then needs to be approved by the customer and then printed. All in a record time frame.”
To be able to process these high volumes, automation was necessary. However, often the real challenge in an automation project isn’t the fully automated parts. Rather those areas where manual intervention is necessary, or error handling needs to be done is where problems occur. In order to cope with demand, Four Pees implemented a solution based on three important technologies.
First of all, callas pdfToolbox Server is used for full quality control of incoming labels, but it does much more. It’s used to create custom proof sheets, combining data coming from the MIS with a preview of the label. This to correct jobs when automated corrections are feasible and to perform PDF automation tasks such as splitting and merging files. pdfToolbox allows automation of even very complex tasks, such as adding varnish layers, inserting cut contours, adding white backing and more.
The heart of the automated workflow is formed by Enfocus Switch. In Switch, workflows are visually designed, multiple applications can be linked in effortlessly, and advanced automation tasks are possible using built-in scripting capabilities. Switch also focuses on the manual touch points in the process. CS Labels uses Switch submit and check points so employees can manage the flow of jobs through the system, and it uses the Switch approval module to allow customers to approve their jobs online.
The final component is a custom designed customer portal. Cooperating with the Switch back-end workflows, the job management portal displays a dashboard showing all jobs in progress. From this dashboard jobs can be approved or rejected with the Switch approval functionality. Customers are also able to consult already printed jobs and re-order them on demand.
“The difficulty we have, is keeping up with the complexity of our workflow,” explains Neil Churchill, Studio Manager at CS Labels: “Our IT infrastructure is quite varied, and information is stored in many different places. Finding a partner who was able to connect things together proved crucial. The Four Pees team has seen so many business environments, we were confident that they would be able to suggest practical solutions to some complex requirements. They've supported us in the different phases, tackling our hurdles in smaller, more targeted projects so we can immediately take advantage of what gets implemented.”
CS Labels is set to continue to grow and help their customers with innovative solutions. No matter the scale of orders that they will receive, Four Pees is right there with them, to make sure the jobs keep flowing.
For more information on CS Labels visit www.cslabels.co.uk or follow them via @CSLabels on Twitter.